Impress Solutions: Medical Asset Tracking


Partnership With Software Provider

download Although many of CoreRFID’s clients are the eventual end-user of the solution being provided, CoreRFID often works with service providers and software vendors who use CoreRFID systems as part of the solution that they deliver to their clients. 

Impress Solutions Ltd is a fast growing, IT solutions company that focuses on providing enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and other business management solutionsimpress-logo to a range of clients. As one of the UK’s most successful SAGE business partners they have wide experience in deploying their own and partner applications.

Impress has a track record of working with industry leaders for the technologies they need for their solutions.

Modern medical beds are often high tech, high cost assets.
Modern medical beds are often high tech, high cost assets.

Their partners include companies such as Avery Berkel (weighing systems), Aures (point of sale) and Panintelligence (business intelligence software).

So, when one of Impress’s clients needed to replace an existing legacy application to track assets they turned to CoreRFID’s expertise in medical asset tracking to provide the asset data capture, GPS location and tracking component.

Medical Asset Tracking

A client of Impress Solutions’ distributes medical products to residential care homes, hospitals and patient homes. They needed an effective medical asset tracking solution.

The delivery of healthcare is an asset-intensive process. Some medical assets such as scanners and other diagnostic or treatment equipment cost millions of pounds. However, it is rarely these items that pose the biggest asset management problem for healthcare providers. Instead the management of the multiple assets associated with each patient bed present a real problem because, while still often valuable, there are many of them and they are portable,. They may be mislaid if, for example, they have to be sent off-site for inspection or repair. In the UK with less than half the number of hospital beds per thousand population compared with Germany or France, say, the pressure on getting best use of these assets is extreme.

Inevitably, the focus of healthcare staff is on the patient and not the equipment being used. So, any system that is intended to keep track of these valuable assets needs to be easy to use, making the least possible impact on staff and avoiding the need for manual data entry as assets are moved from place to place.

RFID technology, with its ability to automatically capture location data and link it to the identity of individuals, offers a simple way to track medical assets. CoreRFID has experience in this field having worked with Addenbrookes Hospital and other parts of the NHS, Medical Gas Solutions , Park House Drive Healthcare and others. CoreRFID also has created easy to use, portable applications that cause the least possible disruption to the work being carried out,. It understands the world of LOLER testing – one of the features of the services offered by Impress’s client.

Together CoreRFID and Impress were able to deliver an innovative, well-integrated solution that worked well for the client.

“The joint solution, created with CoreRFID and delivered to our client, is helping them to get the best possible value from their Impress solution. CoreRFID’s expertise has allowed us to extend the benefits of the Impress application in this area of healthcare.”   Jeremy Clifford (Director) Impress Solutions Ltd.

Check Out – Check In System

The system that Impress Solutions needed to deliver to their client is based on a check out-check in principle for the range of medical equipment delivered to hospitals, care homes and treatment centres. The items involve entire medical beds – complex high value items, as well as associated elements such as mattresses, pumps, and tubes.

The client’s existing legacy system was failing to work successfully for them. Data collection was erratic. As a result, the content of databases with the whereabouts of items was unreliable, leading to a loss of confidence in the system. This was impacting their desire to offer an effective 24 hour troubleshooting and support service with a typical response of 95% of asset deliveries being achieved in three and a half hours or less.

CoreRFID’s challenge was to solve this by delivering an application that was easy to use, so that data accuracy would be greatly improved.

The solution delivered depends on identifying each item with an RFID, 1D or 2D barcode tag carrying a unique asset number. The system works with the coding structure devised by standards body GS-1for assets in the NHS. Data from the tags and labels can be easily captured using tag reading functions in an Android-based tablet computer which runs the CoreRFID data capture application.

How It Works

Using the system, drivers responsible for delivery, collection , repair or troubleshooting visits, check the tag of the item at the point of delivery, inspection or receipt. The end-user is asked to sign for the item, and to check for any damage or repairs needed. In this way data about work needing to be done on the item is automatically linked to the details of the item itself.

Capturing all the data electronically improves the efficiency of the process. Other data such as signatures, images and other notes on the items can be captured as well at the same time. The Android based tablet also uses its on-board GPS to records the coordinates of the location of deliveries, making it easy to sort out delivery disputes and to reduce the risk of assets being lost.

The captured data is consolidated on behalf of Impress using CoreRFID’s integration service. It is then fed on into the client’s Impress isB1 software applications using the Impress API directly.

Items returned to Impress’s client can be tracked into repair, maintenance or decontamination facilities, so that everyone can be kept up to date with the whereabouts of items.

CoreRFID’s application carefully engineer’s the user interface on the Android tablet so that it can be used intuitively by the staff. Simple to use data collection applications have been a specialist focus for CoreRFID which developed skills in this area in demanding environments such as construction and engineering and now apply them to other areas where ease of use is a critical success factor in the deployment of the application.

As a result, Impress Solutions can focus on delivering their core product, safe in the knowledge that their client is able to deliver their asset management. repair, equipment hire and decontamination services with increased confidence.

If you would like to learn more about how CoreRFID solves some of the problems of medical asset tracking, download this description of a consultancy engagement for the details.

Benefits

The key benefits for Impress Solutions’ client are:

  • Improved efficiency for delivery drivers, saving time with a shorter process

  • Improves safety by reducing risks of wrong deliveries

  • Better quality data on asset location & condition, improving confidence in the overall system

  • Improved security

  • Reduced error rates in systems through automatic collection of location data using GPS.